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Backup O-Line Gets Chance on Sunday

Backup O-Line Gets Chance on Sunday


Talk about it on the CPND Message Board.

The Washington Redskins will take the field in Cincinnati at 8:00 PM Eastern on Sunday night, but the real game won’t begin until 45 minutes or an hour later.

Oh, sure, it will be interesting to see if the Redskins’ “first-team” offense can put together a smooth drive or two. “First-team” is in quotation marks because some of those who will be taking the field as offensive starters on September 11 against the Vikings will play little if at all. Clinton Portis, for example, won’t get more than three or four carries if that many. How can you really judge the performance of the offense without its primary weapon?

The same can be said of judging how well the Washington defense does when Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer will be sitting out, waiting to test his damaged knee until the regular season draws closer. Rudi Johnson and Chad Johnson are likely to see about as much action as Portis does. As is the case with most NFL season ticket holders, the Bengal fans who shelled out regular-season prices for tickets to this glorified scrimmage will have grounds to sue for fraud.

That doesn’t mean that the event won’t have anything to hold our interest (especially at the price of free, as it’s on over-the-air national television). The most noteworthy moments will come sometime in the second quarter. By that time, all of the members of the first-string offensive line will be wearing baseball hats and the second team, as named by Joe Bugel earlier this week, will be protecting Todd Collins and trying to open holes for Kerry Carter. Tyson Walter and Chris Pino will be the tackles, Jasper Harvey and Ikechuku Ndukwe will line up at guard, and Mike Pucillo will be the center.

Calling this a rag tag group would be doing a disservice to rags and tags. They used to call the Redskins O-line the Dirtbags. This group is the Paper or Plastic Bags as each of them is one step away from having to bag groceries for a living.

Their collective resume reads like that of the proverbial Waive Wire from Hell. Only Pucillo (seventh round) and Walter (sixth) were drafted. Those two are the only ones who have ever taken in snap in a real NFL game.

All kidding aside, these individuals have something to prove. Pucillo wants to show the Browns that they were fools for letting him go (and considering what happened to center LeCharles Bentley very early in training camp maybe the wish they had held on to him). Walter couldn’t get on the field for one of the worst lines in the NFL in Houston and clearly he wants to show them what a mistake they made. Pino and Harvey played together at San Diego State last year and they want to show that a lot of teams made mistakes in passing them over in the draft. Ndukwe wants to make people have to learn to pronounce his name.

And, more importantly, a couple of them have to step up. All of the millions that Daniel Snyder spent and all of the countless hours and buckets of sweat that the players and coaches have invested in trying to win a Super Bowl this year could be wasted if there is an injury to one of the starting linemen and nobody is able to fill the void. The team has to find someone who could answer the 911 call and fill a void for a few plays, a few games or, perhaps, for a good chunk of the season.

That someone, perhaps a couple of someones, probably will have to come from this group. For Walter, Harvey, Pucillo, Ndukwe, and Pino, the first step towards taking that step forward is Sunday night.

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.